ERIC Number: EJ965055
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jun
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
The Meaning of "Aging in Place" to Older People
Wiles, Janine L.; Leibing, Annette; Guberman, Nancy; Reeve, Jeanne; Allen, Ruth E. S.
Gerontologist, v52 n3 p357-366 Jun 2012
Purpose: This study illuminates the concept of "aging in place" in terms of functional, symbolic, and emotional attachments and meanings of homes, neighbourhoods, and communities. It investigates how older people understand the meaning of "aging in place," a term widely used in aging policy and research but underexplored with older people themselves. Design and Methods: Older people (n = 121), ranging in age from 56 to 92 years, participated in focus groups and interviews in 2 case study communities of similar size in Aotearoa New Zealand, both with high ratings on deprivation indices. The question, "What is the ideal place to grow older?" was explored, including reflections on aging in place. Thematic and narrative analyses on the meaning of aging in place are presented in this paper. Results: Older people want choices about where and how they age in place. "Aging in place" was seen as an advantage in terms of a sense of attachment or connection and feelings of security and familiarity in relation to both homes and communities. Aging in place related to a sense of identity both through independence and autonomy and through caring relationships and roles in the places people live. Implications: Aging in place operates in multiple interacting ways, which need to be taken into account in both policy and research. The meanings of aging in place for older people have pragmatic implications beyond internal "feel good" aspects and operate interactively far beyond the "home" or housing.
Descriptors: Caring, Focus Groups, Familiarity, Foreign Countries, Older Adults, Interviews, Neighborhoods, Community, Security (Psychology), Personal Autonomy, Independent Living, Identification (Psychology), Aging (Individuals)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand